Yigal Amir allowed Torah study partner

Prisons Services to monitor Rabin’s assassin’s biweekly sessions.

August 31, 2011 02:44
2 minute read.
Rabin assassin Yigal Amir in court

311_yigal amir in court [file]. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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The Central District Court ruled on Tuesday to permit Yigal Amir to attend twiceweekly religious study sessions with a fellow prisoner during the next month.

A final decision over Amir’s solitary confinement will be made next month, and the judge also ruled the Prisons Service will monitor Amir’s study sessions and report to the court whether anything unusual takes place.

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Amir has been in solitary confinement ever since he was sentenced to a life-term plus an additional 14 years for assassinating prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

Prisons Service and security officials have maintained holding Amir in a regular cell with other prisoners would pose a considerable security risk.

However, in February, prison officials began to explore the idea of offering Amir biweekly Torah study with a partner, after the Supreme Court suggested in December that the state consider possible ways to ease Amir’s prison conditions including allowing him to spend a limited time with other prisoners.

Security officials struggled to identify a suitable study partner for Amir, the court learned. However, now, another partner has now been identified.

Amir’s lawyer, Ariel Atari, said Amir had been in solitary confinement for 15 years, the longest of any prisoner in Israel.

“When the court comes to decide about easing the conditions of that solitary confinement, that requires a special treatment,” he said.

Atari also asked Central District intelligence officer Israela Ben-David whether she knew of any material that showed Amir had incited anyone to violence.

“I haven’t seen anything, but it does not mean that no such material exists,” Ben- David said.

Prosecution lawyer Oded Keller also noted that Amir had yet to demonstrate remorse for murdering Rabin in the 15 years since he was imprisoned.

“I have never heard him express any remorse or regret or see as a mistake the terrible act that he did, and certainly there is nothing that would indicate he no longer believes or supports the extremist ideology that he holds,” said Keller.

The prosecution also told the court Amir had previously refused to study Torah with a partner, and explained there were considerable difficulties in integrating him with the prison population.

“The group that suits him, and the group he wants to fit in with, is exactly the group that is problematic for him,” said Keller. “It’s also the group we don’t want to integrate him with, the Bat Ayin Underground.”

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